Healthy communication


There are loads of different communication styles.  There is no right way or wrong way.   However, there are healthy ways and unhealthy or unhelpful ways to communicate.  There is a common misconception that the way that you communicate is dependent on what you say.  No matter what your communication style is, the way that you listen to the other person is far more important than what you say to them.  Listening is hard work and it takes effort because you have to move off your own perspective and try and see a situation from someone else’s point of view.  This takes empathy, imagination and determination to get to the root of what someone is saying. It also means that you have to shut up and give the other person the freedom and space to express an opinion that is different to yours and in some cases may even offend you.

It means that you have to concentrate on what the other person is saying.  If this person has very diverse opinions from yours, it will take more energy to understand their point of view.  This does not mean that you accept their point of view it means that you understand where they are coming from in a tourist kind of way.  One effective way to let the other person know that you are following their train of thought is to restate what they have said or give a synopsis of what you think they said.

The literature says that about 55% of our communication is non-verbal.  Non-verbal cues cover body language, facial expression and pheromones, most people are unaware of this sort of communication so it goes unchecked.  It is very important and it is important to educate yourself on these signals.

Narcissists are not touchy feely people, if anything they see touch as an invasion (this does not relate to sex, where they violate boundaries), in everyday stuff like meeting and greeting.  It is very important to register how non-verbal cues “make” you feel when you meet someone because they are usually indicative of how that person treats others.

Narcissists do not communicate in a healthy way because they are so self-absorbed and are so lacking in empathy that they cannot see another person’s point of view.  They also have no curiosity about other people so they do not ask questions and if they do they do not listen to the answers.  They always have “no go” areas i.e. topics that they refuse to discuss, the way that they avoid talking about “sensitive” issues is to start to talk absolute nonsense so that the conversation has to end.   In short having a conversation with a narcissist is very like trying to have an adult conversation with another adult and being constantly interrupted by a petulant toddler.

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